Ways to Give Back & Support the Black Community

Blog post author Lauryn Williams

Creating a Giving Plan that Supports Black People: Actionable Steps We Can Take Today to Impact Our Tomorrow

Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to support people of color and help push the efforts of racial equality forward. While there’s a lot of talk around the topic, many of the messages out there are missing actionable steps. If you want to know what you can do today to make a difference for the future, start with these four steps.

  1. Volunteer your time to organizations or causes making an impact.

    Making a difference in the world isn’t all about money. Strive to donate your time to organizations that are making a positive impact as well. There are plenty of organizations out there with specific focuses within the minority community.

    Actionable steps:

    • Educate yourself about the organizations in your area. Learn about the places where you can donate your time and find out what types of work they need done. Think about where you can lend a helping hand towards the cause.
    • Free up your time. Volunteering once in a while is good, but it’s not as impactful for creating long-lasting change. Consider building a relationship with an organization and donating your time on a consistent basis. You can create this time by looking for “time wasters” in your life. Whether binge watching shows, scrolling through social media or something else – we all have something we could either give up or cut back on to free up time on our calendars.
    • Think about what you’re passionate about. Were you raised by a single mom and want to help make life easier for other single moms and their children? Maybe, you love to do hair. Could you braid hair at a foster home to help empower a young girl to feel good about herself? Don’t be afraid to get creative when looking for ways to use your talents and passion to help others.
  2. If you don’t have a lot of extra time on your calendar to volunteer, or if you’re looking for additional ways to make a difference, consider making financial contributions to organizations that support People of Color.

    Actionable steps:

    • Organize your finances. Before you donate money, it’s important you make sure you’re in a position to give. Make sure you understand your budget and how much discretionary money you have for giving. If you don’t have a clear idea of what is coming in or going out, you might give your rent money by mistake and then be in need yourself. A strong spending plan will help you save, spend, and give with confidence.
    • Be intentional. It’s easy to donate the $5 we’re used to spending on daily coffee on a whim. But if you’re ready to level up your giving, you need to be intentional. Set aside a weekly or monthly number that you feel comfortable paying forward, and try to make it a habit rather than a sporadic impulse.
    • Research the finances of the organization. Before donating, look at how funds are spent within the organization. Some nonprofits put a large amount of donations towards administrative costs. While administration may be necessary, you may want a certain amount of your giving to go directly to the cause. Some organizations will allow you to designate how you want your funds to be used. Look for organizations being fiscally responsible with their donations.
  3. Buy from companies giving back to support racial equality.

    This year, many companies have taken a firm stand against racial injustice. In an effort to show they’re not all-talk-and-no-action, they have gone public with their anti-discrimination policies and efforts to support racial equality.

    Actionable steps:

    • Spend time researching the companies you spend money with. Get on their website and find out what they stand for. Make sure you want to continue giving them your hard- earned money. Where you spend your dollars matters, so be intentional about it.
    • Ask companies what they’re doing for racial equality. Don’t be afraid of asking businesses you frequent how they are supporting the cause. When you ask a company what they’re doing to address racial equality, it shows them you’re thinking about it and paying attention. This could be the motivation they need to change the way they operate.

    If you’re interested in seeing what companies are doing what, you can check the New York Times article Here’s What Companies Are Promising to Do to Fight Racism. And don’t forget to do your own research. If you’re wondering about a company not on this list, check their website and don’t be afraid to ask.

  4. Automate your financial donations.

    We talked in #2 about the importance of being intentional with your spending, but let’s take it a step further. Automation can help you plan ahead for a BIG give or make giving a stable and regular occurrence in your life.

    Action step:

    • Automation is key. When something is out of sight, it’s out of mind. You can use this same concept with your financial contributions. In the same way you should automate your savings, you can automate your giving. Many organizations allow you to set up an auto draft directly from your account. You can set it and forget it knowing that your money is supporting the cause you care about.

It can be easy to push off taking these steps, but if racial equality is something that matters to you, there are plenty of ways to get behind and support the work being done in this area. You can volunteer your time, donate your money, and make sure you’re buying from companies with shared values. Choose one or two things from the list above to get started today.

Written by Lauryn Williams of www.lauryn-williams.com